The Village of Dennison and Local Businesses are Working Together to Improve Emergency Response Times and EMS Capabilities

Nov 12, 2020 |

The Dennison Fire Department plans to build a new auxiliary four-bay garage to make room for EMS vehicles by seeking private donations. Residents can sleep a little better knowing that several local businesses, foundations, and private community members are banding together to fund a new fire station auxiliary garage making room for EMS vehicles and equipment storage. The Dennison Fire Department services the Village and provides mutual aid for surrounding communities, providing around-the-clock emergency medical response with a staff of four full-time, seven part-time, and nine volunteer firemen. The new fire station auxiliary garage will provide additional and necessary space for ambulances and help decrease the overall response time for emergencies in the immediate vicinity.

The current Dennison fire station, located inside the Village hall, was built in 1921 and is located downtown on Grant Street. The Fire Department occupies offices, a day room, equipment storage, and two fire bays which house fire trucks and equipment. Until recently, the fire department only handled fire response, allowing the two main fire trucks to be stored at the current location inside of the existing garage. The Dennison Fire Department now provides local EMS coverage for the Village of Tuscarawas, and Mill, Union and Warwick Townships, in a private/public partnership with Smith Ambulance of Dover. The new fire station auxiliary garage will provide increased capacity to house both ambulances and fire trucks in Dennison at the same time, further reducing the amount of time for medical services to reach emergencies in the rural areas surrounding the town. The partnership with Smith Ambulance has also saved the Village of Dennison considerable investment by not having to purchase EMS vehicles and equipment while adding to the breadth of services offered by the fire department.

The new auxiliary garage will be located on a reclaimed adjacent lot near the fire department. It will be a four-bay lumber and steel frame building with two man-doors and large enough to house modern fire trucks and ambulances. The building will have a split block base with a metal exterior and roof. The garage will be heated to allow for maintenance of vehicles during the winter months and will include a handicap-accessible bathroom. The Village of Dennison and the Fire Department have been seeking private investments from local foundations, businesses, and community members, raising almost $165,000 toward a $250,000 total goal, in hopes of needing no taxpayer money for the project. This incredible support has been made possible by The Reeves Foundation, Doris and Floyd Kimble Foundation, and Rosenberry Foundation along with other private donors. In addition to the funding received from local foundations, about 50k has been raised from building sponsors, material discounts, and donations.

Lauren International and First National Bank of Dennison were two major building sponsors that stepped up early on in the process to ensure this project was off to a solid start. “I am a long-time Tuscarawas County resident and know residents depend on this service,” says Kevin Gray, CEO of Lauren International. “We saw a need in our community and as a business decided to do something about it. We are excited to be able to give back and be part of this effort.”

Additional supporters have included North Star Metals (reduced cost building materials/labor), Stockers (donation of materials for site preparation), Wayne Door (reduced cost of four garage doors and two man-doors), Dennison Bridge (free excavation), and Brotherhood Heating and Cooling (donation of all ductwork, heating equipment and installation). 

Greg DiDonato, Mayor of Dennison, says, “We are extremely appreciative of the foundation donations, business sponsorships, and the community for their continued support. Without them, this project would never have happened.” The Village of Dennison and the Fire Department are continuing to seek private donations through a variety of community events and fundraisers to ensure the completion of this new project. 

The Village continues to raise the remaining funding needed and is still seeking building sponsorships and private donations. Private donations can be made by reaching out to The Village of Dennison at 302 Grant St., Dennison, OH 44621 or contacting Mayor Greg DiDonato or Fire Chief Dave McConnell at 740-922-4072.

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